Thursday, January 12, 2017

Erie Canal Day 7 - My First Visit EVER To Niagara Falls!

Oof. Violators will be prosecuted, that is if they're ever heard from again. Vies with this one for title of Most Seemingly Unnecessary (But I Suppose It Had To Be Said) Trail Sign I've Ever Seen. 

Rough day on teh interwebz today, with yesterday's moving farewell speech from Obama and then that (ugh) press conference today (sorry, I really meant for this to be a completely apolitical post, but...ugh...that's all) - I have nothing to add to what I've already seen out there, so I thought I would take refuge in the unfinished business of reporting on our October vacation. The main course was of course 6 days of cruising the Erie Canal in a sweet little trawler with no name, and then to top things off, we decided to go spend a couple of days at Niagara Falls. I can't remember where exactly in the planning this got added in, but I do know that there was a day I was hanging out over at TQ's and we were talking about places we'd been and wanted to go and I said "Do you know, I have lived in New York State for over two decades and I have never been to Niagara Falls?" and TQ said, "REALLY? We have to get you there. It's really worth seeing at least once".

Now by the time you're at Cayuga Lake, you're already on the proper end of the state for seeing the falls, so at some point we decided to finish our trip that way. TQ had made all of the boat arrangements, so I took care of the hotel; we were limited to the NY side because of documentation requirements, and it seemed like a lot of the chain hotels were reviewed as being kind of old and tired; I looked at splurging on the Red Coach Inn, which dates back to the 1920's, but the decor there looked a little, no, a lot more froufrou than I thought TQ would've liked, so we ended up at a new Fairfield Inn & Suites hotel that had gotten good reviews and was reasonable and very pleasant indeed. We left Hibiscus Harbor around ten in the morning after finishing up with the boat cleaning and it's about a two and a half hour drive to Niagara, so we got to the hotel in the midafternoon, with plenty of daylight left for a walk to see the falls.

The hotel was located a little ways upriver from the falls, and the first bit of our walk was straight to the shore, which turned out to be the perfect way to do it - it was so much fun starting  where you just see that the water was moving along pretty fast, and then walking along watching the river get more and more agitated as you went along, and then - WOW. What a thing to see!

Here are some pictures from that walk. The boardwalk structure is the "Cave of the Winds" attraction. No more writing, click on the first picture for a slideshow view. More to come. Enjoy!


JP said...

The falls are pretty impressive. I once had a business trip to Ottawa and hired a car for the weekend and drove down to see it. Stayed in a B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake which can recommend as a nearby base.

bonnie said...

It actually turned out that we could have gone to the Canadian side after all, I renewed my passport for one of my trips within the recent past but TQ didn't have one, so I thought we couldn't go. However it turned out that TQ got the enhanced driver's license that is one of the other acceptable documents when he got his commercial driver's license for work. We didn't figure that out until we were in Trumansburg, and at that point my passport was still in Brooklyn, so it was a moot point. Don't know how much more we would've seen if we could've crossed the border, TQ recalled there being a cable car ride over a giant whirlpool, and then where the US "Cave of the Winds" is now actually the Boardwalk of the Winds (the cave having been filled in for safety reasons years ago - boardwalk's fun, though), there's a "Journey Behind the Falls" that actually takes you to behind the falls, so those would've been fun -- but as it was we only had one full day there, and we found a really nice short hike in the gorge that we might not have if we'd been rushing off to do things on the Canadian side.

One thing that would've been nice would've been the view of the falls WITHOUT the whole Vegas-By-The-Falls backdrop that you get when you stand on the US side. Amazing that with this incredible natural wonder to focus on, all developers can think is "Needs more neon". Or color-shifting l.e.d.'s as the case is these days. :(

The falls are spectacular though.

LauraEhlers said...

Just breathtaking!!

JP said...

The view from the Canadian side was quite good, though it might have changed since I was there. Maybe I should do a flash back post of that trip so can post some scanned photos

Alana said...

I haven't been to the Falls since 1999. We stayed on the NY side and I remember it being a lot more natural than the Canadian side,which was amazingly "touristy". I also remember that everything in Niagara Falls both NY and ON was overpriced. Although the actual view of the falls on the Canadian side is better, I am happy to see that the park around the Falls is still alive and well.

bonnie said...

JP, that would be fun. The NY side has unfortunately begun to follow the Canadian lead with the very tall (and ludicrously expensive, it was something like $300 a night when I was looking for places) Seneca Casino and Resort. Looks like the sort of place that's designed to encourage you to never set foot outside. Not my cup of tea at all.

At least the Seneca Nation is the group making the money off of it. But it's very big and glitzy - you see it from practically everywhere in town.

peppylady (Dora) said...

Looks like a wet place but the spray off of a large waterfall does feel refreshing if it's hot.
Stop in from AM and if you fine stop in for a cup of coffee.

bonnie said...

We were incredibly lucky to be there during a warm spell in October, and we thoroughly enjoyed the Cave of the Winds boardwalk and the Maid of the Mist the next day. Can't imagine that would be as much fun on a cold day in February!

bonnie said...

OK actually I think they take down the boardwalks in the wintertime, they would just get all iced up.

Oh, the best thing about being there in October was absolutely no crowds. Can't imagine how miserable waiting in the lines on a hot summer day would be! We got the best of both worlds, warm enough weather for it to be really fun, but no lines at all - get the tickets, walk to the slickers and slippers booth, hop on the next elevator, boom boom boom. Sweet!